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Major Sports Championship Prize Monies

On Tuesday, Madame X blogged about the increases in prize money at Wimbledon this year [3] and I thought it’d be fun to check out all the purses at all the major American sports from football to baseball to golf to tennis. I managed to catch the final set between Federer and Nadal and it was amazing. Madame X, if you though there were some crazy shots in the beginning, the fifth set was unreal. What’s even more surprising is that the champ takes home nearly a million and a half dollars, I didn’t know the prize money was that big.

Unless otherwise indicated, the prize money listed is for 2008 and the conversions were done through Google just a few minutes ago. I was surprised that many sports don’t have a guaranteed championship winning prize payout. Many of them simply share a bit of the gate receipts (or something similar) with the players, though I imagine in those sports there are rich contract incentives.

Football – The Super Bowl

The players on the winning team will each receive $64,000 for winning the game. That pay day doesn’t include the championship ring each of the players will receive or any contract bonuses they may have. New York Giants players were each given 1.5 karat diamond rings that cost $5,500 and are valued at $25,000.

Hockey – Stanley Cup

In hockey, according to WikiAnswers [4], there is no cash payday for the players on the winning team unless it’s specifically written into their contract.

Baseball – World Series

Again, like in hockey, unless its written in the contract, players don’t get anything extra outside of a share of the gate receipts. You can read more about the shares at Baseball Almanac [5].

Basketball – NBA Championship

According to the Wages of Win Journal [6], the payout for a championship win is a little trickier to calculate. Player salaries are all paid out in the regular season and bonuses are paid to each team during the post-season. The winning team of the NBA Finals takes home $1.77M split amongst all the players and coaching staff. WOW did the math and found that, assuming the winner sweeps every series and plays only 16 games, they get only $9,342 (versus around $50k in the regular season on average) if it was split across the players alone.

Golf Majors



Tennis Majors

Australian Open:

French Open:


US Open:

Of course, we all know that salary and prizes don’t tell the whole story, the richest sports athletes [7] rely heavily on endorsements. I’m still waiting for mine. 🙂